Kingston and Lewisham plays 80s Hackney in Idris Elba’s new series

Kingston and Lewisham plays 80s Hackney in Idris Elba’s new series

We all love Idris Elba and we love the fact that his new comedy series co-stars Kingston and Lewisham – with supporting roles from Sutton, Southwark and Lambeth.

In the Long Run is set in 1980s London when the Easmons, originally from Sierra Leone, are living quietly on a Hackney housing estate, until the brother of Walter (Idris Elba) is sent to live with them.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for many of the London boroughs where the series was shot. FilmFixer director Karen Everett explains, “The Cambridge Road Estate in Kingston hosted a great deal of filming over a week in late October early November, filming scenes extensively around the estate, along the stairwells and walkways and in front of key flats.

“All the main characters were filmed around the estate, giving residents a bit of a thrill really, to see actors like Idris Elba and Bill Bailey at work outside their homes.

“In the series, Walter’s best friend is Bagpipes, the Bill Bailey character, and both of them work at a local factory. Walter’s wife Evelyn sells makeup door to door on the estate. Their son Kobna and his best friend Dean hang about together playing football and trying to avoid local thugs.

“Idris Elba has said it was inspired in part by his own upbringing, particularly given that his father worked in a Dagenham car factory for 30 years.

“The Czar Street Estate in Lewisham helped out with key scenes filmed in December last year, where we see a boy singing from a balcony, Idris Elba giving driving lessons and Idris Elba and Bill Bailey sitting outside a garage enjoying a beer.

“The children walk through Folkestone Gardens in Lewisham talking about how they’ve never been allowed to go past the bridge on their own.

“Also in Lewisham, we see the kids waiting outside the pub for their parents. These scenes were shot outside the Wheelshunters Club in Hornshay Street.

“Walter’s dynamo brother Valentine takes up DJing, bringing a local pub to life. Those carnival style bar scenes were shot over a many days in the Peckham Liberal Club in Southwark.

“The Times Square carpark in Sutton played the carpark at 1980s Heathrow. The stars were filmed walking through the shopping centre link tunnel and getting into their car.

“And a funeral scene was shot at Lambeth Crematorium on Blackshaw Road.

“The production made donations to tenants and residents groups across the locations. We were delighted to help with locations in boroughs outside central London such as Kingston, Sutton and Lewisham. With the extra space and quieter streets, they are often the perfect places to base a series.”

Idris Elba has explained that the biographical elements of the series are, “… a bit of a mish-mash, to be honest. It really is just a good look at the Eighties, which was when I was turning from boy to teenager. It’s looking at what London was like then, especially east London, where I came from.

“Kobna is meant to me as a kid. And it’s really weird sometimes looking up, seeing parts of my life being displayed. Remember, though, that this isn’t exactly a carbon copy of my life: this is its own thing.”

Take a look at the trailer. The show starts on Sky One on March 29th.

No Valetine’s Day Bliss for Stephen Mangan

You’ll question true love this Valentine’s Day after watching Stephen Mangan in Bliss, which starts tonight on Sky One, and filmed extensively in Sutton – which was doubling for Bristol.

Mangan, who also starred in Green Wing and Episodes, plays a travel writer, who fakes all his travel in order to balance his time between two different families. The families comprise partner Kim and their teenage daughter Christina, and another family in Bristol they know nothing about — Denise and their teenage son Kris.

In December 2016 the show filmed at The Old Rectory on Malden Road in Cheam. Cheam Library doubled as school. And a house on Palmer Avenue played the home of Denise and Kris, although their scenes inside the house were shot in a studio.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Sutton Council. FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “The production was filming during the cold December weather, and we were delighted they made a donation to a local food bank by way of thanks to locals.”

Stephen Mangan joked, “I’ve always wanted two wives so this project is very close to my heart. Andrew absolutely loves both women — he’s not lying about that.”

Sutton welcomes McDonalds back: for a little Christmas romance

For the second time this year, McDonalds has chosen its Sutton High Street branch for a TV ad. This time around though, it was the Christmas ad, a far bigger production, filmed over four days in September by 80 cast and crew, replete with fake snow.

Take a look at the ad here.

A lonely doll sitting in the front window of a toy shop, is still not bought by Christmas. She heads out and across the street to McDonalds, where it turns out her fate awaits her.

FilmFixer manages the film office service for Sutton Council. FilmFixer director Karen Everett said, “We paid close attention to making sure locals were disrupted as little as possible on their high street during the demanding shoot, allowing the production to animate a doll and send her out into the snow for a Christmas adventure.

“Most of the filming was at night and the production worked very hard, contacting residents ahead of time with door knocking and letter drops. They found that locals were quite happy to welcome the filming.”

Tom Elgood was the location manager on the shoot. He added, “All this worked incredibly well in Sutton High Street. The local people were very interested, but during the evenings and nights the High Street was very quiet, which enabled us to achieve all the shots we required.

“I’m really grateful for FilmFixer’s help in setting this up and securing all the necessary permissions for us.

“We had a welcoming attitude from the shops and businesses in the area. The client, agency, producer and director were all very pleased that we were in a film friendly and workable street.”

Sutton hosts the good times in new McDonalds ad

Have you seen the “good times” McDonalds ad filmed in Sutton?

Shot over two days in March on Sutton High Street, the ad shows a hen party and a wedding party, among others, all heading in to McDonalds.

The production used a green screen so the background could match another location used – a park.

Locals mainly went about their business, wandering through the set, stopped every now and again briefly for a take.

The Town Centre Team and nearby shops were all happy to cooperate, and most people were merrily intrigued to see the filming going on.

Take a look at the ad here.

HOFF course it’s a hit! David Hasselhoff is back as flailing version of himself

David Hasselhoff’s TV mockumentary is back on Dave tonight in a new series – get ready for even more self-parodying mishaps.

The first series last year, with Hoff based in a down-market hotel in Sutton, saw him auditioning for the role of himself in a biopic – a part which he failed to land.

Tonight Hoff goes so far as to fake his own death, which inevitably backfires. The solution to this? Hoff goes into rehab and gets into selling confessional videos.

FilmFixer helped out in Kingston last September on the Old London Road, where the Hoff gets into a stretch limousine and takes off.

The series is a brilliant example of what’s possible on a small budget, with handheld or tripod mounted cameras.

FilmFixer manages the film office for south-west boroughs featured in the series.

FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “The series is a brilliant inversion of how you might expect the industry to operate. Hoff’s unglamorous self-mocking show has been sold back into the US (to AXS TV), the market that made him an A-list celebrity, via BBC Worldwide sales.

“London’s outer boroughs are attracting stylish productions including Kevin Costner in Criminal and Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins. But we are also pleased to see Hoff embracing our native self-deprecating humour and exporting it back to America.”

Locations speed networking – a Production Guild event giving juniors a leg up

DATE: Wednesday 20th January 2016
TIME: 7.00-9.30pm
WHERE: Goldsmiths Hall

The Production Guild is running a locations department speed networking event to encourage new working relationships and opportunities.

We’re introducing location managers to less experienced locations personnel. The carousel networking format will ensure everyone has the chance to get to know each other in a stunning setting.

Goldsmiths Hall has hosted many lush productions including: Downton Abbey, The Royals, Woman in Gold, Tarzan, Mr Selfridge, and The Crown.

The evening will include tours of Goldsmiths Hall and a general networking session so everyone mingles towards the end of the night, with drinks and canapés kindly provided by Goldsmiths.

Here’s the address:
Goldsmiths Hall
Foster Lane
London, EC2V 6BN

If you have had experience as a location runner or steward for film, TV or commercials please apply by sending your CV to

Never fired: Lord Sugar’s Apprentice candidates filmed across London – the final’s on Sunday

If there’s one character that never gets fired on The Apprentice, it’s London – as the candidates’ home and backdrop to their business tasks – year after year.

The new series was filmed in May and June, with the candidates moving into a house in Camden, and stepping out each morning for the punishing schedule of tasks located across the capital.

The new hire for this series with the £250,000 investment will be revealed on Sunday night – December 20th – at 9pm on BBC One.

Each morning the candidates left The Apprentice house in Camden’s Bloomsbury and made their way around locations including:

Lewisham, for Moggie Minders Cattery on Merchiston Road.

Sutton, for Soundbox Studios on Lind Road.

Lambeth, for Vauxhall City Farm on Tyers Street and Travis Perkins industrial yard on Weir Road.

Islington, on Torres Street; and the London Dance Academy, in The Basement, on Central Street.

In Southwark, the candidates delivered flyers door-to-door for handyman services – making their way along Court Lane Gardens; Burbage Road; Court Lane; Eynella Road; Calton Avenue; Dulwich Village; Lordship Lane; and Barry Road.

They also worked in Roast on Stoney Street; Toys R Us on the Old Kent Road; and Manhattan Loft Gardens.

Back in Camden, they filmed in Warner Yard, on Abbey Rd; Tottenham Court Road; bigdog agency on Percy Street; Neal’s Yard; Camden High Street; Gresse Street; and Euston Road.

FilmFixer director Karen Everett says, “Our FilmFixer boroughs have been helping The Apprentice since 2007. When time is of the essence and the pressure is on, filming has to be managed as efficiently as possible.

“In fact, we managed to introduce the production itself to some new skills, using an app this year to keep an eye on the teams and their complicated schedules.

“FilmApp managed permissions across all their locations, so any member of the team could see on their mobile phone, at any point, where the teams were off to film and when. This live, updated co-ordination across multiple crews meant that nobody, on these complicated schedules, could drop off the radar, get lost or confused.

“I like to think that in among the difficult decisions that have to be made throughout the shoot, using FilmApp was not one of them.”

Sutton’s Film Office attracts a big-budget Carlsberg ad featuring a football legend

Beddington Park in Carshalton was the location that brought together recently two of the world’s most famous Danish exports – former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and Carlsberg – for an upcoming advertisement.

During the three-day shoot in June, older spectators were thrilled to see the World’s Best Goalkeeper of 1992 and 1993 in action, while children watching from the nearby after-school club really enjoyed watching his skilful play throughout the filming.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“Using our borough as a filming destination is a great way to pull in investment at a time when we face unprecedented budget cuts. It was a real coup to attract Carlsberg with Peter Schmeichel to Sutton and it certainly created a buzz in the area when people saw him in action.”

The production company made a donation to the local children’s centre to compensate for any disruption, which has been spent on children’s activities during the summer holidays.

Jenny Henry, The Grange Play Centre Manager, said:

“It was fun for the children to watch all the cameras and Schmeichel running around with a lovely dog. They could tell he was a special player.

“We don’t usually have a lot of money for special events during the summer, so the donation is greatly welcomed. We’re spending it on fun activities for local children.”

She added that the disruption had been minimal, well managed, and, thanks to the donation, worthwhile.

The advertisement shoot was arranged by FilmFixer, which manages Sutton’s Film Office.

FilmFixer Director Karen Everett said:

“We were delighted to welcome a big-budget shoot such as this into Sutton – where Beddington Park proved to be the ideal location. It was a big production of 200 crew over three evenings, and there was a lot to manage.

“We’re really pleased the shoot went so well – demonstrating that Sutton has what it takes to host big productions. Also showing that good management ensures residents benefit from the filming going on in their neighbourhoods.”

For FilmFixer, negotiating with the children’s centre was essential, along with Friends of Beddington Park. The Civil Aviation Authority had to grant a licence for the drones that filmed much of the advertisement.

Signage had to go up well ahead of time, letting residents know what was planned. Parking had to be managed tightly and plans had to be in place to protect the park from any damage.

Take a look at the ad here.

Locations Fix: Skateparks

Markfield skatepark
Markfield skatepark in Haringey is fully concrete, snaking slightly downhill.

It’s situated next to train tracks, and it’s a good distance away from local residents. This makes it suitable for some night shoots.

There is plenty of parking and a cafe onsite, at the nearby Markfield Beam Engine and Museum.

Seven Kings skatepark
Nestled in the historic Seven Kings Park in Redbridge, this small, local skatepark is popular with children and young adults. There is ample parking available onsite in the park’s car park.

Stockwell skatepark
Stockwell Estate’s skatepark is one of the oldest in London, and with the constantly changing Graffiti Wall of Fame, it’s one of the most iconic. There are P&D bays nearby.

Whites Grounds skatepark
Whites Grounds Skate Park is film-friendly, and situated under railway arches off Bermondsey Street. It has a similar look to the famous Southbank Centre skatepark. Whites Grounds can be booked for exclusive use.

Roundshaw Park skatepark
This classic skatepark in Roundshaw Park, Sutton, is popular with skaters, scooters and BMX bikers. It is well-facilitated with parking available nearby, changing rooms, toilets and showers. The park is a short drive from central Croydon.

Countryside in London: Locations Fix

Foots Cray Meadows
Foots Cray Meadows is the largest open space in the borough of Bexley and consists of rolling landscapes, wild flower meadows, ancient woodland and quaint country bridges over the river Cray which runs through it.

This country park has ample parking onsite and is less than a ten-minute drive from Bexley Town Centre. Read more here.

Micham Common
Mitcham Common in Merton has a range of habitats including woodland and scrub, ponds and grassland. There is ample parking and the Mill House pub/restaurant onsite.

Hainault Road Farm
Hainault Road Farm in Redbridge appears to be isolated in rural surroundings but is in reality a short drive from London. The dirt road leading up to it could easily be England or the US.

Islington & St Pancras Cemetery
Not the obvious choice for a countryside location, however the third largest cemetery in London is hidden from the City by thick ancient woodland, and the wild flowers alongside winding paths provide a haven for wildlife. Look here.

Beddington Park & The Grange
This park in Sutton has a quintessential English village feel to it with numerous historic bridges over picturesque ponds and the winding River Wandle, St Mary’s Church with its lychgate and flint wall, and several historic building remains.

Here’s our Locations Fix newsletter.